NORTHWOOD, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa woman is accused of lying about a cancer diagnosis so she could collect donations.
Jennifer Hope Mikesell, of Northwood, is charged with ongoing criminal conduct, fraudulent practices and forgery. Her attorney didn’t immediately return a call Tuesday from The Associated Press. Authorities said more charges might be filed later.
The Worth County Sheriff’s Office said the 43-year-old Mikesell had told people she was diagnosed with cancer and was receiving cancer treatments at Mayo Clinic Health System in Rochester, Minnesota. Iowa court records say Mayo had no record of Mikesell being diagnosed or treated there.
Mikesell received multiple donations of money, food and other supplies, as well as a bedroom makeover from My Happy Haven, the court records say. In a media interview about the makeover, Mikesell said she been fighting liposarcoma since 2016. She also said it had spread to her heart and brain.
“You do so much to try to do what you can with the energy you have,” Mikesell told KIMT-TV in October. “I have five kids. You still have to try to cook, you still have to make it to their activities. When you come home, you have no energy left. You’re done.”